Community Information Database


Search Tips

Basic Search

To do a basic search, enter a word or phrase into the search box that appears on the right-hand side of all CID pages and click the "Go!" button. The database will be searched for any records containing the word or phrase as you entered it. For example:
garden will return agency records containing the words garden, gardening, gardener, gardeners', etc.
child care will return agencies whose records contain the entire phrase child care anywhere in their names, descriptions, or subject headings.

Searching is not case sensitive; you may use upper or lower case or a combination of the two.

The Basic Search looks at the following database fields: agency name, description, mission statement, programs, languages spoken, subject headings, publications, and officials. If you don't find the agency you are looking for using the Basic Search, you might try the Advanced Search screen--this allows for boolean searching and queries a greater number of database fields.

The search results appear as a list of agencies (alphabetically ordered by agency name) with brief records. Click the "Full Record" link to view all available information for any given agency or the "Add to Personal List" link to begin compiling a separate list of agencies that can be printed or emailed later. You can also email or print your search results by clicking the "Email Hitlist" or "Printer Friendly Hitlist" links that appear at the top of the list. Ten records are displayed per screen--page through the entire hitlist using the "Next" and "Prev" links at the top and bottom of each screen.

Advanced Search

The Advanced Search screen gives you more flexibility and options than does the Basic Search. Use the Advanced Search screen when you would like to: combine words or phrases using a boolean operator (and, or, not); search database fields not included in the Basic Search; limit a search to certain database fields; limit a search by other constraints (such as Spanish language or whether the services offered by the agency are free or not).

To do an advanced search, enter a keyword or phrase into either or both of the search boxes. Using the dropdown menus preceding each search box, select the fields you would like to search and choose a boolean operator ("and", "or" or "not"). You may further narrow your search by selecting from the options listed under the "Limit the Search" header. For example:
To find free dental services located in Santa Cruz that have wheelchair access and that can also help Spanish speakers, you might do the following search. Select "All Fields" from the first dropdown menu and enter dental in the first search box. Select "and" as your operator and "Agency Location (City)" from the second dropdown menu. Enter Santa Cruz in the second search box. Under "Limit the Search" check "Spanish Language" and "Free Services" and then select "Wheelchair Access" from the "Disabled Access" dropdown menu.
After completing the form, click the "Search" button.

The search results appear as a list of agencies (alphabetically ordered by agency name) with brief records. Click the "Full Record" link to view all available information for any given agency or the "Add to Personal List" link to begin compiling a separate list of agencies that can be printed or emailed later. You can also email or print your search results by clicking the "Email Hitlist" or "Printer Friendly Hitlist" links that appear at the top of the list. The "Refine Search" link takes you back to the Advanced Search screen as you originally filled it out so that you can make adjustments to your search. Ten records are displayed per screen--page through the entire hitlist using the "Next" and "Prev" links at the top and bottom of each screen.

Quick Lists

Quick Lists guide you through a number of commonly used categories which are organized into subcategories and ultimately provide a list of related agencies with brief records. The resulting agency display list is similar to that for Basic and Advanced Searches. Click the "Full Record" link to view all available information for any given agency or the "Add to Personal List" link to begin compiling a separate list of agencies that can be printed or emailed later. You can also email or print your Quick List results by clicking the "Email Quick List" or "Printer Friendly List" links that appear at the top of the page.

Browsing the Database

Using the appropriate links in the right-hand menu of any CID page, you can also browse the database--either by subject heading or by location.

Browsing by Subject: Subject headings are organized alphabetically; choose a letter to view subject headings beginning with that letter. From the list of subject headings you have two options. Clicking the "Description" link will provide a detailed explanation for that subject. Clicking on the subject heading itself will bring up a list of related community agencies--each with a brief description.

Browsing by Location: Choose from the list of place names to view agencies located in that community. The list will NOT include agencies that are in another location but also serve the place name selected. For example:
Choosing "Ben Lomond" will find agencies located in Ben Lomond, but not agencies in Boulder Creek that also serve Ben Lomond (such as the San Lorenzo Valley Water District).

Whether browsing the database by subject heading or location, you can always click the "Full Record" link to view all available information for any given agency or the "Add to Personal List" link to begin compiling a separate list of agencies that can be printed or emailed later.